LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Olympic swimming superstar Michael Phelps, eligible to compete again now that he's met the anti-doping test requirements, could be inching toward a comeback, coach Bob Bowman told US media.
Bowman told USA Today and the Chicago Tribune that Phelps has been training an average of five times a week and could enter a meet this year.
"He looks like he is definitely in shape," Bowman told the Tribune.
Phelps retired from swimming after bagging four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 London Olympics, taking his tally of Olympic medals to a record 22.
A record 18 of those are gold - including the unprecedented eight he won at the 2008 Beijing Games.
While Phelps had downplayed rumors that he was considering a return to competition in time for the 2016 Rio Olympics, he rejoined the US Anti-Doping Agency's testing pool last year, and now that he's been available for testing for six months is eligible to compete.
Bowman said that if Phelps feels he's fit enough, he could target the 2014 US Championships in Irvine, California, August 6-10.
The championships are the selection meet for the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
Bowman said a returning Phelps would likely concentrate on relays and shorter events, including the 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle.